The final answer: Nitrogen for your tyres – Yes or No!

Over the past few years, we have been asked about the positives and negatives of filling nitrogen in vehicle tyres. Now, the thing is that you have to pay to fill up nitrogen and it isn’t available easily throughout the country. So, is it worth the effort to spend money and go on a look out for nitrogen to fill? Read on, to find out!

 

nitogen

Well since you have gone passed elementary school, you would know that normal air itself consists of 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1 % of other gases. This means that the normal air that you are filling already has 78% nitrogen. So if you are worried about the remaining 22% being the other gases, the outcome is not so different.

So if you think pure nitrogen will last a really long time, you are mistaken. Yes, it maybe a few more days than normal air, but will you be willing to spend more money for something that may last a few days more? Also, how do you check the purity of nitrogen that is being filled? For all you know, it may not even be 100% nitrogen.

Nitrogen means no filling up tyres often?

People believe that filling nitrogen in the tyres will help in the long term since you don’t have to fill up often and because nitrogen molecules are larger, they are less prone to exit the rubber layer. As true as this maybe that nitrogen molecules are larger, this is down to picometers which is minuscule. Well so this argument doesn’t hold true then.

Consumer reports carried out a test where in they took 31 pairs of tyres and filled each identical tyre, one with normal air and the other with nitrogen and left them for an year. Yes, the results favored the tyres that were filled with nitrogen. But they weren’t substantial. Where the air filled tyre showed a drop of 3.5 psi, the nitrogen fill tyre showed a loss of 2.2 psi.

nitrogen-diagram

If your tyres are loosing pressure, it is down to issues in the sealing between the tyre and the rim that is letting air escape or the valves, not down to what air is being filled.

Improved dynamics and lesser temperature rise?

Some people claim that putting nitrogen helps to improve performance and handling at higher speeds. But is it actually true?

Formula 1 teams use them. But the reason why they do so is mainly down to the fact that. Check this video of Tiff showing the difference between nitrogen filled tyres and normal air tyres on a track for better knowledge:

Well, the difference was zilch. Yes, it may make a difference in F1 where the quality of nitrogen being filled is checked regularly, however we are pretty sure that the place you are getting it filled up at won’t have that kind off quality check.

Also, as you can see in the video, it is wrongly believed that the rise in temperature will not cause a rise in pressure on nitrogen filled tyres.

Prevents oxidation, or does it?

Since pure nitrogen doesn’t contain oxygen, there is no question of water vapour being formed on the inside of the tyre and hence no question of any corrosion. Yes, that is true. But what is also true is that the inner surface of the tyre is painted which means it will be less prone to corrosion. Also, cases of tyre failure due to corrosion are also very less. Plus the outsides of the tyre are anyways subjected to normal air and they face no such issue.

Dieting?

nit

Yes, nitrogen is technically lighter than oxygen. But how much of a difference does it actually make in our day to day lives? Next to nothing. The video above is proof to that and if you think that filling nitrogen will help keep weight down and improve economy, you are mistaken.

Makes you lazy?

Since people who fill nitrogen think it will last a long time, it makes you lazy to keep checking up on it. This is a really bad thing from what we have proved above. So instead of believing that you will not have to check tyre pressure for a few months, it is best to check it weekly or every time you go to tank up.

Ok, tell me: Yes or No?

No! You DON’T need nitrogen, regular air will do. After having gone through research, we don’t see any reason why you should fill nitrogen in your normal car’s tyres. What you should ideally be doing is checking up your air pressure every time you fill up and that should be good enough. So might as well save some money by filling in normal air.

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